A change in perspective makes the difference

Published 6:15 am Wednesday, October 25, 2023

By Les Ferguson Jr.

During my youth, I played several sports, namely football, soccer and baseball. 

I’d like to tell you I was a star in all three. And to be entirely forthcoming, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to say I was a star in just one. 

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But alas, regardless of the sport, I pretty much stunk it up. Of the three mentioned above, I played soccer best, was mediocre in football, and baseball was just the worst. I could catch and throw, but hitting was a no-go. 

And of those three sports, I enjoy watching baseball in the playoffs and World Series. I have never enjoyed watching soccer. But football? That’s what Friday nights and Saturdays are for and occasionally Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays for those into the professional games too.

But back before I played organized football at school, football ruled the neighborhood. Sometimes games were constrained to one front yard, and at other times it stretched across multiple yards. When it was more than one yard, you had to be very careful on the concrete driveways. But we were young and dumb and sometimes it just didn’t matter. 

Back in those neighborhood football days, it was quite common to indulge in a little bit of fantasy by pretending to be your favorite player. Without fail, I staked my claim on Archie Manning. He was the real deal. 

At any rate, you may picture the scene as a gaggle of neighborhood kids playing a rough-and-tumble game of front-yard football. But if that’s all you see, try again, because in those front yards was football greatness, football royalty. I don’t remember all the players repped in those games, but Archie was consistently there. 

And then there was the epic nature of the games. On one occasion we were playing in the “Super Bowl” when my father opened the front door and interrupted. Or rather ruined the moment and destroyed the game. On this occasion, he called my brother and me and told us to come eat dinner. 

I was disgusted that Dad had the nerve to end the glory of our game. At any rate, I turned to my fellow players and said, “I gotta go eat.” When Dad heard my response, he immediately closed and locked the door, opened the curtains over the large living room window so I could see, and proceeded to sit down to dinner with the family, sans me, the wanna-be Archie Manning. 

It was miserable watching my friends watch me being left out of supper. There was laughter. I was embarrassed. Worse yet, I got hungry.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. I learned I wanted and needed to eat. And the message is simple: perspective is everything. 

There may be a bunch of things this week you see as have-to’s. But maybe if you saw them as get-to’s, you might find more than a blessing or two. 

Here’s a short passage of scripture you might reflect on:

“Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23–24 CSB17)

Blessings on the rest of your week!